Did Hitler sue papers for calling him an “anti-semite”?

Dara Horn writes in The Atlantic that Hitler “brought libel lawsuits against newspapers that accused him of anti-Semitism, and won them”, listing historian David Nirenberg as a source who had said in a Cornell University lecture:

So during his rise to power, Hitler brought libel lawsuits against newspapers that accused him of antisemitism. And he won.

I found this very surprising, not only because this was the first time ever I had came across this claim.

The only report of any libel lawsuit against a newspaper won by Hitler that I could locate were English language reports in September 1923 that are referenced in a Wikipedia article.

It would be totally out of character for Hitler to defend against a charge of anti-semitism as libel because that was his brand. Hatred of Jews was at the very core of his ideology, as was clearly stated in the party program of the NSDAP and in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, which he wrote in prison in 1923/24 after a failed coup that he staged in Bavaria in November 1923. Hitler suing someone for calling him anti-semitic is like the pope suing someone for calling him a Catholic.

So what’s the evidence?

According to a brief note published in the New York Times of September 5, 1923, Hitler won an award of 6 million mark against “Vorwärts”, the German Social-democratic daily, for having claimed that he had been financed by “American Semitic and Bolshevistic funds.”

Furthermore, the Canadian Jewish Review, September 14, 1923 stated the libelous claim had been that he received money from “American Jews and Henry Ford”. Neither of those reports explicitly mentions “anti-semitism”.

While Henry Ford was indeed infamous for spreading anti-semitism, he certainly was no communist, so these two media reports clearly don’t align. It also makes no sense to claim that Hitler was supported both by Jews and by anti-semites like Ford, whose views were diametrically opposed.

I find it interesting that while these reports are referenced in the English Wikipedia article on Vorwärts, the other language versions (including the German one) make no mention of this. I have also never heard any German historian bring up this rather interesting anecdote. Searching the German language web for any references to libel suits against German publishers won by Hitler, I came up empty handed. There does not appear to be any record of any such thing ever having happened. Also, while 6 million mark sounds like a large amount of money, this was during Germany’s infamous period of hyper-inflation. Who would sue a paper for the equivalent of three loaves of bread (the reported equivalent at the time)?

My guess is, the brief media reports that made it over the Atlantic were based on a single and less than credible source and that this “Vorwärts” libel suit (or any other libel suits by Hitler against the charge of anti-semitism) never happened. If you come across any evidence to the contrary, please let me know!